Wednesday, 13 June 2018, 10-11am
World Conference Center Bonn

Roundtable talk during the
Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum

“Internet freedom is the new press freedom,” claims the Nigerian Paradigm Initiative. But in 2017, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to roll back net neutrality, marking a victory for the broadband industry. This shows that open networks and non-discrimination against applications or content are at stake, even in democratic states. But there is a ray of hope. In recent years, European activists, journalists, media associations, academics, and start-ups organised a powerful movement to protect net neutrality. In 2016, their lobbying for strong net neutrality protection proved successful – as long as the rules decided on at European level are implemented by national telecom regulators.

In many countries, internet freedom is not only threatened by restrictions to net neutrality. It is also endangered by governments shutting down internet applications or ordering telecom companies to cut off citizens from the internet. Global corporations such as Facebook are either unwilling or unable to oppose authoritarian regimes in defence of internet freedom. In African countries, there is a silver lining as well. Citizens are increasingly fighting digital rights abuses in the courts. People are exploring alternative means of civil action to challenge government and corporate restrictions.

In this session, we will tackle the following questions: How can civil society mobilise to defend digital rights? What do activists’ experiences from Europe and Africa have in common? How can internet freedom and net neutrality be preserved around the globe? What can journalists and the media contribute?

Have a look at the programme of the session.

Register for the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum.


How to defend digital rights?


Internet freedom is threatened in many states by restrictions to net neutrality or by governments shutting down internet applications. But there are rays of hope. In different world regions, civil society is mobilizing to protect net neutrality. sef: discussed activists’ experiences from different world regions with ´Gbenga Sesan from Nigeria and Thomas Lohninger from Austria during a roundtable talk at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum.

Read the most important results of the discussion in our short report

:further info here

sef: insights 5-6|2018


How can local media contribute to peaceful societies? Rev Geraldine Fobang from Cameroon and Dr William Tayeebwa from Uganda explain the challenges and chances for peace journalism in armed conflicts at the Berlin Summer Dialogue.

Read the interviews as sef: insights or watch them as video!

:further info here